Mbabazi’s aide remanded to Luzira

By Sania Babirye

Christopher Aine, former aide to former presidential contestant John Pactrick Amama Mbabazi has pleaded guilty to charges of distracting traffic flow and obstruction of a police officer.

The 36 year old has been produced before Buganda road court grade one magistrate Stella Amabilisi but pleaded not guilty to other three charges including maliciously damaging a shirt (uniform) of police constable Peter Eyotre, assaulting and causing harm to one Dennis Kambugu by cutting his arm with a knife and going armed in public where he allegedly without any lawful excuse carried an offensive weapon (a knife ) in such a manner as to cause terror to any person.

Prosecution states that on the 27th of November 2019 at about 11am along Kampala road, Aine together with 5 other people interrupted traffic flow by impromptu stopping of motorists.

His co accused include Daniel Byansi ; a politician who pleaded guilty to the obstructing a police officer, Ken Serunjoji, Christopher Nyombi, Tonny Ssegawa and Sam Lugemwa who are all peasants from Kikugi in Ssemuto.

They have now been remanded to Luzira prison until the 30th of December.

Aine is famous for disappearing during the concluded presidents elections in which rumors spread that he had been kidnapped and murdered but he later resurfaced alive.

DP’s Mao unbothered by members named in People power coordinators list

By Robert Segawa

The opposition Democratic party ( DP) says it will not take disciplinary action as anticipated against it’s members who are named as coordinator in people power’s team.

Last week, People power pressure group led by Kyadondo East member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobiwine released names of it’s coordinators country wide which included DP members .

The list had Busiro East MP Medard Lubega Ssegona, Butambala member if Parliament Muwanga Kivumbi, Mathias Mpuga MP Masaka municipality among others who are members of the DP block.

Addressing a news conference at the DP headquarters today , party president Nobert Mao said that DP is still committed to work with People power pressure group to bring about change , adding this should be spearheaded by DP as an institution and not at an individual level.

Mao further says he has been informed that President Museveni’s agents in opposition have the intention to destroy the people power movement and DP Bloc efforts.

NRM demands for dismissal of rebel MPs petition against Museveni’s sole candidature

By Sania Babirye
The ruling party NRM has asked the Constitutional Court to dismiss with costs a petition filed by 11 of its Members of Parliament who are opposing a resolution by CEC to front their party chairman President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as a sole candidate for the 2021 presidential elections and beyond saying it has no grounds for any constitutional interpretation .

The NRM MPs who are challenging President Museveni’s sole candidature include :Theodrehe Sekikuubo, Monicah Amonding , Barnarbs Tinkansiimire , Jonh Baptist Nambeshe , Patrick Nsamba , Gaffa Mbwatekamwa, Samwuel Lyomoki, Akello Sylvia, Susan Amero, James Acidri and Moses Adome

However, in an affidavit filed by Oscar Kihika who is the party’s director of legal service, the NRM party alleges that the said petition does not raise any issue that can be interpreted constitutionally

Through their legal team represented bu K&K advocates, the NRM party further claims that the resolution bu CEC to recommend President Museveni as a sole candidate is not a constitutional or matter of judicial interpretation that can be decided by any court but its a political matter.

The NRM party also insists that they did not stop any member from expressing their interests in holding the party flag for the presidential position despite CEC’s resolution since its not the final stage of a national election .

The NRM party further claims that it’s the duty of the National delegates conference -(which is the party’s supreme organ) to elect a presidential candidate to be sponsored by NRM from a list of members forwarded by the National Executive council .

The party has also described the ground of the said Mps wanting court to declare the said resolution null and void on grounds that they were prevented from attending the said meeting submitting that their abscess does not invalidate the sole presidential candidature resolution nor is it a matter of Constitutional interpretation.

These now want the constitutional court to dismiss the said petition because it’s baseless, an abuse of court process as it specifies no particular act committed by its CEC that infringed on the Constitutional right of any MP.

They add that the said petition is a disguised move to challenge their party’s alleged non-compliance of political parties and organizations Act; yet such grievance can be addressed through other remedies other than through courts of laws.

The constitutional court has now set the 13th of this month to hold a conferencing meeting and also issues criminal summons to both parties so that they can decide and agree on the issues that must be tried before a date is set for hearing of the case.

On the 30th of April this year, the said MPs dragged their party to the Constitutional challenging a resolution by the party’s central Executive commitee that endorsed the sole candidature of their party President Museveni for the 2021 presidential elections.

The aggrieved rebel MPs want the constitutional court to declare the resolution null and void.

These filed their petition through three law firms of Caleb Alaka, Wilfred Nuwagaba and Baririre Muhangi and company advocates.

On the 19th of February this year, CEC declared President Museveni who has been the party chairman for the past 35 years as their sole presidential candidate at chobe safari lodge in Nyoya district .

However, according to the MPs the resolution that took four days blocked and suffocated the interests of other would be individuals in the party who have aspirations to become presidential candidates in the coming General elections.

Worker’s MP Sam Lyomoki says he has aspirations of contesting for the seat of the President and that President Museveni’s sole candidature was done in total disregard of his aspirations.

He further says that his party was aware of his presidential intentions since he officially communicated to the Secretary General of the party on the 19th of January 2019.

The MPs further claim that CEC had no mandate to declare president Museveni as a presidential candidate for the 2021 elections in the middle of this term (2016-2020) because it’s (CEC) 5 year tenure of office is due to expire in July 2020 and therefore have no business in the next coming elections .

The MPs claim that instead grass root elections within the party had to be conducted from which CEC would recommend the successful candidates to the National delegates conference

The MPs further want court to intervene in the internal governance of their party which they contend is not Democratic at all because their party’s Secretary General Kasule Lumumba unfairly blocked them from participating in the parliamentary caucus retreat at Kyankwazi where the sole candidature resolution was adopted .

They then asked the Constitutional Court to declare as unconstitutional all the CEC resolutions including baring them from attending the said retreat and pay them costs for this petition.

This is the second time the NRM party is dragged to court over declaring president M7 as a sole presidential Candidate for his party.

In 2017, party supporter Benjamin Alipanga also dragged his party to the constitutional court over President Museveni’s sole candidature, however, his case was later overtaken by events forcing him to withdraw it.

.

Government should commence civic and voter education

By Daudi Zirimala

The Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) has implored the Independent electoral commission to prioritize civic and Voter education a head of 2021 elections.

According to party spokesperson Micheal Osinde, currently civic and voter education is fragmented, uncoordinated and done in isolated piece meal interventions by mostly of various actors from ministry of information and National guidance to National Leadership institute in Kyankwanzi, ministry education among other agencies.

He says that civic and voter education often comes late,close to voting time when some voters have already made up their minds yet financial and other resources are also spread thin across various organizations.

Speaking to the media at the party headquarters, Osinde said that there is need to first pass the draft civic education policy 2013 and then to establish, agree on the concept of civic education and coordinate effectively.

“Civic and voter education should not be a one off,but it should be a process,a culture and part of peoples daily lives,we should move out of civil servants,NGO workshop and schools to trade unions,farmers groups,market vendors association,sports clubs,traders associations and Families.” said Osinde.

The civic and voter education is captured in the 1995 constitution,the national development plan II,Uganda’s vision 2040,African Union Agenda 2063 and the sustainable development goal number 16 on peace ,security,justice and building Institutions.

He further noted that there is need to promote platforms that facilitate interactive engagements among various stakeholders from politicians to policy makers, researchers, academia, practitioners and the general public in which the ideas of the democracy that Ugandans desire as a country are discussed openly and truthfully to generate minimum consensus.

MP Luttamaguzi pleads with opposition youth to demand electoral reforms

By Alice Lubwama
Nakaseke south Member of Parliament Lutamaguzi semakula has asked the opposition not to allow to be diverted by the NRM proposals of lining up in party elections instead of demanding for electoral reforms.

While reacting to the resolution by the NRM Central executive committee which decided that the NRM party primaries will be conducted through lining up behind backs, Lutamaguzi also shadow minister for lands noted that by the opposition discussing such a small group will mean that everything is okay.

The legislator alleges that the proposal made by CEC is just intended to benefit the NRM party chairman.

Opposition leader in parliament Betty Aol Ocan recently announced how the opposition was planning to move a private members bill in parliament seeking for constitution amendment to have some of electoral reforms.

Some of the reforms will include presidential aspirants who get 10 per cent of the vote to become ex-officio members in Parliament.

The Bill also seeks for the reinstatement of presidential term limits, the introduction of federal governments and the constitution of an independent electoral commission

Legislators return to parliament today, issues to discuss include land

By Alice Lubwama

The parliament of Uganda resumes business today 6th after a one month recess.

While sending Members of Parliament for recess ,the deputy speaker Jacob Oulanya asked them to consult their voters on the issues affecting them and then report back to the house to take a decision.

The recess period has been an action packed one, with several incidences being reported in various communities including several reports of land evictions especially for Bibanja owners the recent being in  Lusanja Parish at Ssekanyonyi Zone, Nangabo Sub-County Wakiso District where over 70 families were evicted and 350 houses destroyed affecting over 550 people.

The speaker Kadaga also promised that she will prioritize the issue of land evictions as first business to be discussed by parliament to find a solution, saying she had also received a number of complaints
from Ugandans who have been evicted from their land with out any compensation.

In 2016  president Museveni appointed a commission of inquiry headed by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire to probe an array of issues pertaining to the land sector in Uganda.

The commission  was tasked to inquire into “ the effectiveness of the land law and process of land acquisition, land administration, management and land registration.”

NRM aspirants complain about postponing of party primaries

By Daudi Zirimala

The NRM parliamentary and LCV aspirants in seven new created districts are not happy with the lengthy party primaries which were postponed by the party after nomination of of candidates in the districts.

The districts include; Nabilatuk, Kapelebyong, Bugweri, Kwania, Kassanda and Kikuube.

According to Kapelebyong LCV Akorikin Francis the postponement has created a lot of confusion in the NRM electorate and at worst; there is fear that it’s going to give opposition elements an advantage in the final campaigns.

“We have come to Kampala to raise our voices to the party’s electoral commission that we shall not continue campaigning with out a clear road because the NRM candidates have spent a lot of money as a result of this recklessness”,says Akorikin Francis.

The NRM national Electoral commission nominated candidates to contest for position of party flag bearers for woman member of parliament and district LCV chairperson in July with elections to take place in August 2018, however as the campaigns started,the party electoral commission postponed elections to 14th August 2018,unfortunately as the polling date was approaching as scheduled,the party EC once more postponed the election until further notice.

However, the the NRM electoral commission chairman Dr. Tanga Odoi has assured the candidates that spoon the commission will secure funds to continue with the primaries as it was stated earlier in July.

“Those new districts we are going to have elections we are just waiting for funds because NRM party does not use government money we use our own funds but I hope next week we shall clarify on this”, says Tanga Odoi

Campaign to draft NRM party primaries election roadmap is on

By Daudi Zirimala

The NRM electoral Commission has embarked on a campaign to draft election road map for party primaries ahead of the 2021 general elections.

According to the Party Electoral Chairman Dr. Tanga Odoi, they will be meeting different stakeholders including Members of parliament, district leaders, the party executive among to review and plan the way for for the 2019 party primaries in preparation for the general election.

Odoi made the remarks while meeting the party district election officers at the commission’s headquarters Kyadondo. In the same meeting, he sounded a warning to district administrative secretaries against interfering with the work of the electoral commission.

“We are going to work with all the sister organs of the party and we shall ensure our independence as a commission because the constitution NRM is very clear that we are  answerable to CEC but we coordinate with the secretariat” said Odoi.

He said that no body has powers including the party chairman to interfere with the work of the electoral  commission because they are targeting to have free and fair elections for the party primaries and the NRM electoral commission has not registered any bribery complaint of their members at the districts.

Recently the Ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party released roadmap for party primaries for the Women Member of Parliament and Local Government Councils elections in the six newly created districts.
The districts include; Nabilatuk, Kapelebyong, Bugweri, Kwania, Kassanda and Kikuube.

Dr Tanga Odoi said they recently held consultative meetings in every district and embarked on the exercise of updating the voters’ registers but the Campaigns were halted due to lack of funds.

“Joint campaigns will be resumed and I would like to urge candidates and other stakeholders to maintain the current spirit of campaigning jointly and peacefully,” he said.

FDC reshuffles party leadership, Winnie Kizza dropped

By Patricia Osman
Opposition Forum for Democratic Change has reshuffled its leadership at Parliament, Betty Aol Ochan is now the Leader of Opposition replacing Winnie Kiiza.
Ssemujju Nganda has been maintained as the Chief Opposition Whip in Parliament and will be deputized by Hon Tonny Muhindo.
Buhweju county MP, Francis Mwijukye is now Commissioner of Parliament replacing Cecilia Ogwal of Dokolo.
Fungaroo Kaps Hassan is Committee Chairperson of Government Assurance while Nandala Mafabi chair Public Accounts Committee.
Hon Mubarak Munyagwa replaces Abdu Katuntu as the Chairperson of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE  deputized by Hon Moses Kasibante among others.

Justice Barishaki kicks off judgment on the age limit

By Sania Babirye
Justice Barishaki is delivering his judgement on the MPs extension of their term of office from five to seven years and that of local government councils.
He is quoting the a legislative history of Uganda and the Uganda Constitutional commission of 1995 report by  Prof.Sempebwa   for proper guide line.
He says he takes the recommendations into account for proper guidelines.
He states as a result public participation is very important for proper affairs of the country.
Sepebwa report explains that peoples  views on the enlargement of term of MPs and LG officials is an indirect way of holding office without consent and will  from people since the first contract was to hold office for only 5 yrs.
On the historical parliamentary chaos, he observes that these events rolled out because the members of parliament did not listen to the speaker as the head of the house.

Justice Barishaki further rules that the attorney general failed to adduce any evidence to prove that their was public participation   which is key to any constitutional amendment  since no referendum was held there by parliament exceeding its authority to extend  its term of office for more 2 years from five to seven.

He adds that parliament tried to evade the people’s powers and the amendment and its sections are null and void.
The extension was selfish and is against the principles of   good governance.
He adds that if it was dine in good faith it should have been made in the coming 2020 general elections.
Justice Cheborion has ruled that the speaker of parliament acted within the law  when she suspended the opposition MPs from the house and that if they had respected the speaker when she called the house to order the violence inflicted on them by military police would not have happened.
Justice Barishaki further rules that  even though Mps have a right to participate in each and every debate, the speaker had the  powers to throw out an  MP who conducts himself In manner that disrupts debate.
Mps had started throwing chairs and parliament staff had been injured, an MP had entered the chambers with a gun .therefore Cheborion rules that the involvement of army was justified since it was a state of emergency.
He says that the MPs engaged in misconduct and the military police had to be called in to assist the parliament security that had been overpowered by the rioting MPs at the invitation of the speaker.
He however says that the military police used excessive force and the process subjected the MPs to inhumane and degrading treatment.
He also rules that the Mps arrest and detention was uncalled for since the speaker only ordered that they be removed from the chambers of Parliament.
He rules that parliament was not besieged as alleged by the petitioners since the military police was only there at the invitation of the Sergent of arms  to contain the riot.
Judge says no evidence to show that the said directive or violence on the MPs affected country wide consultations which would lead to the nullification of entire bill.
On the private Members bill to be funded by government: Justice Barishaki has ruled that it did not have a financial implication on the consolidated fund  and that the bill was budget neutral.

He explained that it is not unconstitutional for a private members bill to be funded by government and just because it had the name Rapheal Magyezi  bill it did not make it a private bill .
Justice Barishaki has also explained that the 29 million shillings that was each given to MPs for consultation did not have a financial implication since the clerk of parliament testified that it had been budget for by parliament.